How to Get a Secret Phone Number (and Why You Need One)

Decades ago, people changed their telephone numbers all the time—if you had to move to a new town, you did n’t get to keep your number. now, you can take your inaugural cell call number with you for life, even keeping the sphere code on a new continent if you ‘re uncoerced to pay for it. That has downsides. Having another issue associated with you for life, much like your Social Security number or driver ‘s license count, means it ‘s another easy thing for regretful actors and Big Brother to use for tracking you. specially since your mobile earphone count is probably associated with barely about every digital account you have. The means to get around that is to never hand out your personal call number, except to friends and family. There are a lot of effective reasons for this. possibly you buy or sell items on Facebook Marketplace, pull off an Airbnb list, are hunting for a subcontract, have a career that requires lots of telephone calls, or you ‘re on-line date. Give all of them a burner number. typically, a burner is a no-contract, postpaid mobile phone, normally an ultra-cheap handset you buy in a memory ( with cash, for privacy ), activate with a call or on-line, use for a while, then discard. The throwing away is the “ cauterize ” part, but tossing the phone/number is optional, as the owner can “ top off ” the minutes on a postpaid earphone and keep using it. With a burner, you do n’t have to block a person ( or stalker, fishy seller, or robo-caller ) from your permanent phone. Nor do you need to get a new numeral. But the choice is there, while your original earphone phone number is integral. For a irregular number, you can always get a postpaid SIM poster on a bum carrier if you want to go that path. It might tied be handy if you have an extra phone about. many new unlock phones support eSIM standards where the SIM poster that identifies you with the carrier wave is amply integrated and only changeable via outback software. But eSIM is n’t much of an choice for a burner-style number. And swapping physical SIM cards to change telephone numbers is a pain, at best.

You probably already have a iPhone or Android smartphone that ca n’t handle two numbers, so you do n’t want another handset. thankfully, there are still many ways to get an excess, ( possibly ) irregular call count that works with your smartphone ( or even on your pad ). The numbers can even be used to send and receive text with photos. This is n’t like using * 67 or # 31 # before a call, which shows you as Blocked or Unknown. The services below make a point of displaying a irregular total when you call, thus render calls can happen—until you want them to stop. If you just want the numbers to take calls, all the burner services feature things like voice mail and call forwarding. There are some drawbacks to these burner apps and services. The biggest is that you typically ca n’t use them to call 911 for avail. Some build that limit into their terms of service—they do n’t want to get sued. Second, the companies behind some of these solutions have a very limited issue of telephone numbers to use. research from 2014 establish ( Opens in a raw window ) that some companies recycle numbers quickly, meaning you could be on the receiving end of calls from people trying to reach person who previously had your number. If you can overlook all that and silent need a junior-grade number, get ready to access some apps and services that will maintain your privacy by becoming the count you hand out when you are n’t surely who to trust .


  • 7-day trial with 20 minutes of lecture and 60 text .
  • Prepaid Burner numbers : $ 1.99 for 50 minutes of talk and 100 textbook lasts 30 days, or extend with credits .
  • Unlimited text, spill the beans, and pictures : $ 4.99 per calendar month or $ 47.88 per year .

Burner(Opens in a new window) grabbed the best mention for this kind of merchandise. Limited to US and canadian numbers, the servicing offers limited-time entree to certain digits. If your account or spare trial lapses without an upgrade, thus does the numeral. A premium subscription option provides up to three phone numbers with unlimited minutes and text. ( It ’ randomness best to register a Burner subscription on the vane ( Opens in a newly window ) rather than the fluid apps, indeed Apple or Google do n’t become function of the transaction. Do n’t pay the Apple Tax ( Opens in a new window ). ) It promises to be 100 % ad-free, blocks spammers, and besides supports picture messages. When you make a predict via Burner, it ’ sulfur actually your smartphone calling Burner, which in turn places a relay call to the number you want to reach ( so it is indeed eating into your speak plan minutes ). The steps are spelled out as you go, so you ‘re not confused. A PIN lock ( Opens in a raw window ) keeps the app secure ; it integrates with fingermark or confront scanners on your smartphone .


  • 3-day test
  • $ 1.99 for seven days prepaid, or $ 3.99 per calendar month with inexhaustible calls/texts, with pay-as-you-go international plans starting at $ 4.99 .
  • life second count is presently on sale for $ 25 in US, UK, or Canada .

Hushed(Opens in a new window) ( available for io and Android ) is a set like Burner, but available in over 40 countries, and with a simplicity that makes it deserving considering. Do n’t worry about the minutes left on your actual mobile telephone contract, Hushed uses VoIP, so calls are made over Wi-Fi ( or using your cellular data ). No minutes on your telephone spokesperson plan get used ( unless you set up something like Call Forwarding or Call Routing ( Opens in a new window ) ). Subscribers can get up to three lines bundled. text communications between Hushed app users are all dislodge, and auto-delete after being read .


  • 7-day spare test
  • $ 7.99 per month ( or $ 79.99 per year ) for each new telephone number ( up to five ) .

desire multiple numbers across multiple area codes ? You can get up to five with different “ locations ” with Flyp(Opens in a new window) for io and Android. Each count has unlimited calling, texting, mental picture message, and voice mail. It ‘s expensive but simpleton. One of the concern supernumerary is the ability to create a whitelist of who can contact each issue .

Google Voice

( credit : google )

  • free

The main function of Google Voice(Opens in a new window) is to provide call routing using a single telephone act, entirely free, that rings on all your numbers. That way, if an crucial call comes in, it can reach your cellular telephone, your family number, your position count, and others all at once—you pick up the one you want. ( This is less and less an issue in the one-phone-per-person mobile worldly concern, but hey, at least you have a permanent second issue that costs nothing. ) The Google Voice app besides features a dialer so you can call or text out—the recipient role will see your Google Voice number for caller ID and if they return the call, you ‘ll receive it at the preset numbers ( or get a voice mail with full-text transcription ). It ‘s wholly VoIP, so it can use Wi-Fi or your telephone data plan, and it works via apps on io and Android or even on the web. If you have a personal Google account, you ‘ve already got a Google Voice account. therefore go get a number .


( credit : PCMag )

  • Starter plan is $ 15.99 per calendar month ( $ 164.99 annually )

Line2(Opens in a new window) is a second line for your earphone, with an vehemence by the company ( which is owned by Ziff Davis, PCMag ‘s rear company ) on being a full-on, cloud-based clientele phone service for minor teams. Each Line2 account has unlimited SMS and MMS messaging and virtual calling. Upgrade to get up to 99 extensions with each telephone count. You can use the apps for io or Android, or try Line2 on your background with a web-based app.


( credit rating : PCMag )

  • free for calls over Wi-Fi or data plan in the US and Canada ; besides free between Dingtone numbers
  • 500 credits is $ 9.99 ; price for international call from US is 0.9 credits per minute

Dingtone ( Opens in a modern window ) promises free calls and unlimited text to everyone, over Wi-Fi or your data design, a farseeing as you ‘re only making calls in and to the US and Canada. You do n’t have to pay to reserve a number. multiple numbers are allowed, and there are clientele features like voice mail, call option forward, blocking, etc. If you want to call outside the country, you ‘ll have to pay for some credits. Rates are different per state. The more you use or check in with Dingtone, the more credits you earn ( Opens in a raw window ), so possibly you wo n’t have to pay for them. The app is available for io or Android .


( credit : PCMag )

  • basic practice is free with ads
  • Pay $ 15.99 per month to go ad-free and get 2GB repositing

With TextNow(Opens in a new window), you sign up for exempt to get a second phone number in your sphere code ( or another ), plus free calling and texting via the io and Android apps, a long as your device is on Wi-Fi. It besides works on the background. If you need to be more mobile, TextNow is besides an MVNO. It has a $ 0.99 energizing kit that gets you a SIM wag for outright talk and text anywhere ( using T-Mobile ‘s network ( Opens in a new window ) ) for free, with data add-ons. It offers external use in 230 countries .


( credit : Appsverse )

  • $ 9.99 per calendar month unlimited
  • $ 69.99 per year unlimited

available in apps for io and Android, plus as a web-based app in your browser, Phoner ( Opens in a new window ) from Appsverse offers all you ‘d expect : private numbers, ability to hide/mask your caller ID, voice mail, call forwarding, reverse number search, and of course texting and calls. You can get started immediately when you grab a new, randomize count, though you can try to get a local total in about 30 countries, including the US. The app besides makes it possible to record calls and send PDFs as a fax. The pricing on the site and the app stores is confusing, but the company tells PCMag it is switching to the above-mentioned unlimited monthly and annual plans .


( credit : PCMag )

  • 7-day spare trial
  • $ 7.99 per calendar month up to $ 99.99 per year

CoverMe(Opens in a new window) is well known as an app ( for Android ; the io version disappeared in early 2022 ) for providing guarantee or individual communications over VoIP between users, both voice and text. It besides offers extra phone numbers for US and canadian users, which can be used to make and receive code voice calls. It works over Wi-Fi or cellular data connections. The app besides features a vault for holding images and documents you do n’t otherwise desire showing on your smartphone, which you protect with a PIN code. The most basic mini-private call plan is $ 7.99 per calendar month, but things like the vault cost supernumerary. A rightfully outright software with texts and 3,000 part minutes is $ 99.99 per class. A Mashable notes ( Opens in a new window ), adding a second base issue may alone be a bind on a bigger trouble if you ‘ve associated your chief earphone number with a crowd of accounts, from food orders to bank. The act could even be one of the ways you ‘re expected to authenticate, or update credentials. But sometimes a bandage can start the mend, therefore put your burner number to good use .

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